Napoli Striker’s Absence Raises Concerns as Super Eagles Prepare to Face South Africa
Nigerian football star Victor Osimhen has given the Super Eagles a scare ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal after he missed the team flight due to “abdominal discomfort.” Osimhen, who plays for Napoli, did not travel with the rest of the squad on Monday for the crucial match against South Africa.
The Super Eagles announced Osimhen’s absence on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that the player was under close medical supervision in Abidjan. The team’s medical staff stayed behind with him, monitoring his condition closely. The announcement mentioned the possibility of Osimhen joining the squad before 5 p.m. the following day if he was cleared by the medical team.
Despite scoring only one goal in the tournament so far, Osimhen’s tireless performances have been instrumental in Nigeria’s journey to the semifinals, marking the team’s record-equaling 16th appearance at this stage of the competition. Only seven-time champion Egypt has reached the semifinals as many times, although they have participated in 26 tournaments.
The upcoming semifinal against South Africa evokes memories of the 2000 encounter when Nigeria emerged victorious with a 2-0 win in Lagos. Nigeria, with three titles to their name, last lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2013, while South Africa’s sole triumph came in 1996.
In the other semifinal, host country Ivory Coast is set to face Congo, intensifying the stakes as the tournament progresses towards its climax. Osimhen’s absence adds uncertainty to Nigeria’s lineup as they strive to secure a spot in the tournament’s final and vie for continental glory.
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